Posts Tagged ‘branding’

Why did LinkedIN’s IPO price double yesterday? Was it because of LinkedIN’s awesome business prowess and potential earnings? It seemed from the few people I spoke to that were remotely interested in purchasing their stock that the simple reason was “It’s LinkedIN.”

What earning potential does the social media site of the business world have?
Pro Memberships and Ads. But isn’t the advertising/income potential a problem for other social media giants, say… Facebook? Granted the audience on LinkedIN is much more professional than Facebook.  Of course being a professional social media networking site doesn’t guarantee you have business savvy, like “What Price should the IPO open at?” which according to the LA Times cost them $130 million. Ooops. But don’t worry LA Times also quotes the high price at $122.70. Yet they posted a Bloomberg report with a high of $110.01. And Google reports the opening day high for LinkedIn’s IPO at $115.09.  So what are few number discrepancies…?

Back to the point at hand.


Many people bought knowing the name would push it, just so they could sell it after the initial jump.  Branding. Gotta love it.

Any other Questions?

What is LinkedIn’s Stock symbol? LNKD.

Next question. …..Just add it below.

Don’t mind me, just a pest control guy.

Just  a few tips on choosing a pest control name.

1- Stay away from town or city names. Town or city names are not trademarkable.  Ask any trademark lawyer.  You may have the name for 20 years and a guy comes along and sets up shop across the street, calls himself  St. George Pest Control, and you can’t do a thing about it.  Plus it gets a little hairy in the marketing area as well.

2- Stay away from “kill, killer, slayer” or other like terms.  These names may sound great to you and you may think that they convey what your goal is, but studies show that such negative words can be deterrents.

3- Stay away from using specific pests in your name.  If you named your company the Mouse Control Guy, then you could be limiting yourself to targeting just mice.

This is solely from my experience at Bulwark Exterminating and my degree in marketing.  In the end, a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.  Meaning, if you provide a great service then no matter what you call your company, people will still come off of your referrals.


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Marketing Tactics 101-

The following is a record of a recent run in I had with a Primerica representative.  This individual contacted me via an email address and a phone number that I provided on a Boy Scouts of America sign in sheet for Safe Swim.  (A little bit of background, I volunteer as an Assistant Scout Master to the local Boy Scout Troop, chartered by my religious organization)  While I wasn’t too upset at the original call or the follow up and the emails, I have to question the sincerity of this individual for my welfare.


—–Original Message—–
From: Bryan *****

Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2009 7:43 PM
To: Thomas
Subject: Re: Nice meeting you at Safe Swim Defense…

I wanted to ask a favor…I think I may have mentioned I do financial advising; well with my new office out here I’m looking to expand and know that the more people who know what I am doing the better. I wanted to see if you’d be willing to briefly meet up to allow me to show you what I do…worst case scenario, you may know someone who might be good at what I do or could benefit from my services. I’d sure appreciate your help–have a great day!

On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 3:04 PM, Thomas wrote:

Hey Bryan,

I got a phone call from you the other day.  Just following up with you.  My uncle is a financial planner so when I do get around to opening up my IRAs I will be contacting him.

If he is unavailable then I will give you a chance.


—–Original Message—–
From: Bryan
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 3:35 PM
To: Thomas
Subject: Re: Nice meeting you at Safe Swim Defense…

Sounds good…I got your message and I appreciate your follow up.  Sorry I hadn’t called back yet.  As I was reading your email Trent K********* (my wife’s cousin and National Sales Director in Primerica) popped his head in my office and says he remembers you from several years ago–small world!  Regardless of your interest in becoming my client I would still like to meet up with you at some point…just let me know.  What firm is your uncle with?  Make it a great day!


—–Original Message—–
From: Thomas
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 3:36 PM
To: Bryan
Subject: RE: Nice meeting you at Safe Swim Defense…

Sorry, but if you’re doing Primerica then you have a tough road ahead of you.  My advice… RUN.


—–Original Message—–
From: Bryan ******
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 3:45 PM
To: Thomas
Subject: Re: Nice meeting you at Safe Swim Defense…

Sorry to hear your experience wasn’t a good one.  For me it’s been unbelievable!  We’ve already went over $50k/year in income and I love educating clients on how to become properly protected, debt free, and financially independent.  I WILL succeed at this.  I appreciate your concern and good luck to you in your indeavors.


—–Reply Message—–


I learned something from my experience at Primerica, I was there for 2 years and had over 20 people in my down line.  I won’t go into details about my experience.  But I was able to learn and grow from it.

One of the reasons I left was because I hated walking around looking at people with $ signs in my eyes.  It cheapens relationships.  My buddy Rob, former Primerica teammate, called me up about 2 months ago.  I was happy to hear from him.  It had been over a year since I last spoke with him. A few minutes later he is asking me to investigate and give my opinion on a new energy drink business…  I find out its just another pitch on yet another MLM business. I was saddened by this.

$50k, $300k,… I am beyond putting a price on my life and my friends.  I have sufficient for my needs.

In my opinion, Primerica offers some great grounds for helping people manage their finances. That’s a good thing. However, I do believe there are better products and options out there. Products, options, and services that take less from the customer’s pocket. Weighing the company as a whole, I dislike what Primercia stands for.  It is as they are mixing a little good and a little truth with a lot of crap….  It seems to me, “The philosophies of man, mingled with scripture.”

That’s my opinion from my personal experience.  That’s what I witnessed.

Funny, I still have this vivid memory of sitting with Lucy at lunch and she said to me, “Wow, its great that you are starting this so early in life.  Just imagine, never having to worry about buying diapers, or paying your bills.”

… She seemed so sincere at the time.  To her credit, what she foretold came true.

I truly hope for your success. If Primerica is what will bring you your definition of success then I am happy for you.  If it doesn’t then I am sure that you can create your success somewhere else. I believe that God rewards us as he promises and that our blessings are received based on adherence to principles as God has defined.

…Why I felt compelled to write this to you, I am not sure.  Do with it as you see fit.



So what does this have to do with marketing and pest control services?

I believe in doing what’s right for the customer.  I believe in doing what’s right for the company.  Its a win/win situation.  Its a mutual understanding a respect for what each party is contributing to the relationship.  Its not a one sizes fits all and everyone needs to jump aboard.  In fact, I am sure that there certain individuals that despise pest control companies altogether.

So back to the point.  “Nothing rings truer than the truth.”

Marketing based on false info, scare tactics, or other manipulative grounds is a short term game strategy.  MLM feeds on false ideas:

1-Get Rich Quick/ Get rich Easy.

2- Fear that if you miss this opportunity then you will fall behind and you may never catch up.

3- Its for everyone and anyone./Anyone can do it.

Its a short term game strategy for most MLMs.  Which means you are forever rebuilding and replacing.

But this mentality isn’t just found in MLMs.  Its found in all types of businesses.  From carpet cleaners, restaurants, retail shops, SEO companies, to pest control operators. Call it short game strategy or  penny-wise and dollar dumb.  I believe its unfulfilling and unproductive.

Honesty shouldn’t be the best policy, it should be the only policy.

P.S. Perhaps I would have felt differently had he asked my permission to contact me.

The answer is as widely based as the public itself. This question hits the core of marketing. How do you get your product or service in front of the masses when they are looking for you? Yellowpages have a great argument, “customers only pick up a phone book when they are ready to call someone.” This is a great selling point and its probably accurate. Its also close to accurate that 60% of the phone book users already know who they are looking for when they reach for that phone book (Stat pulled from a DEX media packet). The phone book is used as a directory.

Search engines or online searches on the other hand are different. If someone knows who they are looking for, say Bulwark, then they don’t search for a generic term like “Exterminating” or “Pest Control“. They search for “Bulwark”. If they are searching for “Pest Control” then they are shopping or information gathering. And since they are window shopping, conversions for these online visitors is very low.

The best converting clients from people who are shopping and find your service come through referrals. Most people will ask friends or family members for recommendations when it comes to common household services or products. Some argue that this falls into branding.  You want to be the “first of mind”.  They argue that you need to spend money to get your name out there and make the public aware of your service. But saying, “I have heard of Joe’s Bug Shop.”, is different then “Use Bulwark, they have been good to me and my family.”

Searching for a business probably covers all the above touch points and more. Many businesses will use a combination approach believing that all the pieces of the pie are important.  They will spend in branding, radio, TV, and yellowpages because arguably “they all play a part.” This is called marketing overlap. It’s nice for advertisers because their is no concrete answer to what is working and what is not working. In reality there is some overlap, but where do you get the best bang for the buck. In the end, shoppers will take their friends recommendations and then do a little more online research. Or they will pick up a phone book and remember as they are turning the pages that Joe next door uses Adam’s Pest Control or that “Bulwark” has a recognizable logo. Because of marketing overlap it is easy to get confused on what touch points really drove them to buy or call.

So how do you know what works for you and your business. Test, Test, TEST… Record your results and keep testing.

Thanks for visiting.  Please add your comments.


P.S…. A customer coming to you or searching is different then you finding customers.